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McDowell County authorities warn business owners about fake $100 bills

Mcdowell County authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying a man they believe is responsible for passing fake $100  bills at five  stores across the county.  (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

McDowell County authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying a man they believe is responsible for passing fake $100 bills at five stores across the county.

The suspect is described as a young black man with a medium build, who stands about 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He was wearing a black pullover shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.

Authorities said the man attempted to make a $500 purchase at Dollar General in Nebo on Nov. 27, but a test using a detection pen revealed they bills were fake and the cashier returned them. That same day, he attempted to pass six of the bills at Dollar General in Dysartsville and was again turned away.

On Dec. 4, he managed to pass five $100 bills at Dollar General in Pleasant Gardens. Marion police officers also think he is responsible for dishing out fake money at Dollar General on East Court Street and at Food Lion.

Authorities said the counterfeit money looked identical to real bills.

"These bills are very authentic looking, even with the feel of them," said Richelle Bailey, of the McDowell County Sheriffs Department.

The sheriff's department is warning other business owners to be on the lookout and to double check the money coming into their stores.

"Taking a couple more seconds with those detection pens is just a life saver," Bailey said.

Nancy Spencer, owner of Spencer Ace Hardware, said her store has been hit with counterfeit bills before.

"They are figuring out when to hit you because of when you’re busy. Your thoughts are to get people in and out. Emotionally, it is very stressful. It’s like someone coming into your own home and taking something," Spencer said.

She is telling her employees to stay vigilant.

"Would like to have more training. We need the cashiers to know what else to look for other than just that pen," she said.

Anyone with information concerning the crimes or suspect is asked to call Detective Jason Grindstaff at 828-652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 828-65-CRIME (828-652-7463). Tips can also be texted to Crime Stoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES).


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